Taking the steps to officially adopt a child as your own is an exciting an emotional time. Adoptions allow families to grow, and give legal rights to parent figures who have loved, nurtured, and protected a child just as they would their own. Our adoption attorneys can help you through the adoption process from start to finish. Call our office today for more information.
Attorneys guiding Virginia Beach & Norfolk residents through the adoption process
A person might wish to adopt a child that is not biologically theirs for a number of reasons. Sometimes a child’s biological parent has been absentee from the child’s life for an extended period of the time, and the child’s custodial parent wishes for their new spouse to share legal rights over the child. Other times, extended family members or friends may wish to adopt a child or sibling group if their parents are no longer able to care for them. Adoptions are possible in cases when a biological parent or parents are considered unfit to act in their parental role, have abandoned their parental responsibilities, have consented to give up their parental rights, have had their parental rights terminated by the court, or who are deceased. Once your adoption is complete, you will have full legal rights of the child, including physical and legal custody.
Adoptions can often be handled quickly and smoothly, particularly if the non-custodial biological parent voluntarily waives their parental rights. To begin your adoption, our adoption attorney will immediately file a petition with the Circuit Court requesting an Ore Tenes hearing. At this hearing, the relinquishing parent may sign a consent form agreeing to waive their parental rights. The adopting parent also attends the hearing and agrees that they wish to take over full responsibility of the child. It is important that the child also wish for the adoption to take place, as once the adoption is final, it cannot be undone. Once the adoption has been finalized, the child’s birth certificate may be amended to reflect the new parent.
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If a step parent has been living with a child for a long time, it can be frustrating not be considered an “official” parent to a child. Until an adoption is finalized, you do not have the legal right to make important decisions about the child in your life. Adopting a child will help make a step-parent an important part of child custody decisions. We understand that if you are adopting a child, then you love this family very much and it is important that you be involved in all decisions regarding the child. Completing the adoption process is often the last piece in the puzzle for step parents to feel that their family is “official.” Our office is dedicated to helping you through the process of helping your family. Email us today or call (757) 422-4646. We service clients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, as well as the surrounding counties of Northampton, Isle of Wight, York, and James City.